Services for Students with Disabilities

The Office of Student Disability Services assists Marywood University in ensuring that qualified students with disabilities are afforded and given access to the same, or equal, educational opportunities available to other University students, as mandated by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. Assistance is provided to both students with disabilities and to the campus community so that students are not discriminated against due to their disability in policies, procedures, and practices conducted within, or as part of, the University environment. The Office of Student Disability Services helps facilitate the education of students who have disabilities by coordinating a variety of services that support the unique academic needs of permanently and temporarily disabled students. The Office of Student Disability Services also works to create and uphold policies, procedures and practices within the university environment that will not discriminate against students due to their disability

Disability Grievance Policy & Procedures »

Who is Eligible?

We provide services to students with functional limitations due to visual, hearing, learning, attention, psychological, or mobility disabilities as well as students who have specific chronic health conditions. Any student who is enrolled at Marywood University and who self-identifies with Disability Services as having a disability is eligible for support.

Specific accommodations are determined individually for each student and must be supported by appropriate documentation and/or evaluation of needs (refer to Accommodation Process). Disability Services reserves the right to ask for any appropriate documentation of disability in order to determine a student's eligibility for accommodations.

Roles & Responsibilities

Disability Services

  • Maintain medical and psychological documentation in a confidential manner.
  • Determine if conditions are a disability in accordance with state and federal laws.
  • Identify and assist with the implementation of reasonable accommodations.
  • Request updated documentation when symptoms change to determine if accommodations need to be modified.
  • Serve as a resource for both students and faculty to help resolve disability-related issues.
  • Provide information and referrals to campus and community resources.

Disability Services Staff

Students

  • Provide medical and/or psychological documentation to Disability Services.
  • Participate in the process of determining and implementing reasonable accommodations.
  • Inform Disability Services when accommodations need to be modified or symptoms change.
  • Inform Disability Services of any difficulties obtaining approved accommodations from faculty.

Student Disability Resources

Academic accommodations for students with disabilities are made on an individualized and flexible basis, with input from the student, the instructor, and the Associate Director of Student Disability Services. Accommodations should in no way compromise the essential elements or objectives of the curriculum. Accommodations will be designed to meet a student's disability-related needs without fundamentally altering the nature of the instructional program. The most useful accommodations will address the student's ability to learn, although some accommodations may also modify the particular ways in which students demonstrate their mastery of course material. Instructors must be satisfied that such accommodations do not lower the teaching standards of the University. The process for establishing reasonable accommodations follows:

  1. A student requesting an accommodation must begin by submitting documentation either to the admissions office upon acceptance, or to the Associate Director of Student Disability Services at the time of requesting the accommodation. Contact the Office of Disability Services for documentation guidelines.
  2. The Office of Student Disability Services will review the disability certification. The following questions need to be asked and answered to identify the reasonable accommodations:
    • Is the individual a "person with a disability"?
    • Is the individual "otherwise qualified"?
    • What are the barriers resulting from the interaction between the documented disability and the campus environment?
    • What are possible accommodations, modifications, or adjustments that might remove the barriers?
    • Without these accommodations, would the individual still have meaningful access to the program, service, or activity?
    • Would these accommodations compromise the essential elements of the curriculum?
    • Would these accommodations require a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program, service, or activity?
  3. The student initially meets with the Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) and designs a plan for each class every semester. The student will continue meetings with the DSC throughout the semester to monitor accommodations and make changes, as necessary.

    1. Log into the portal using your Marywood username and password. 
    2. Once logged in, a list of your classes will appear along with a button next to each of the courses that says "Request Accommodations". Click on that and sign in the two spaces designated on the form that appears. Please note you can simply type your name to sign.
    3. Once you have signed in the two spaces, hit the "Done" button. This will bring you to a screen that says that your request was submitted.
    4. Go back and do this for each class you wish to utilize accommodations for.  The system will not allow you to submit a request for accommodations more than one time for each course. 
    5. This is all you need to do until you received a finalized PDF copy of your accommodation plan. Save this PDF for your own records until the end of the semester. The PDF will have your specific accommodations with the SDS’s signature, your professor's signature, and your signature. 

      Once the accommodation plan is discussed between student and a representative from the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS), it is the student’s responsibility to request accommodations for in-person and/or online classes. Requesting accommodations can be done through the following steps:

    Once the accommodation request is completed, it will be sent to the SDS for approval and then submitted to each professor via email. It is the professor’s responsibility to log into their email and approve the accommodation plan. Finally, once the professor approval is submitted, the SDS reviews the plan and gives the final approval.

    Once all of the above steps are completed, the student, the students’ professors and The Office of Student Disability Services will receive a PDF version of the finalized accommodation plan. The plan will include all of the students’ accommodations and all necessary signatures (the student, professors and the SDS). 

NOTE

Some classes require more creative accommodations due to the nature of the course or the complexity of the functional limitations. When this occurs, the Disability Services Coordinator will facilitate a dialog with the student and the faculty member to clarify the essential elements of the course and identify creative and reasonable accommodations, considering the functional limitations of the student. It is important for the faculty member, the student, and the Office of Student Disability Services to be clear about their roles in the accommodation process.

Your disability must be documented in order to receive accommodations. Documentation should reflect current conditions and can be most helpful when it includes as much of the following as possible:

  • A clearly stated diagnosis of the disability or disabilities
  • Method of evaluation, including testing instruments
  • Educational, developmental and medical case history
  • Functional limitations
  • Recommended accommodations

Submit documentation by mail, fax, or email to:

Marywood University
Office of Student Disability Services
2300 Adams Avenue
Scranton PA 18509
Fax: 570.340.6073
disabilityservices@marywood.edu

Documentation Guidelines

Information pertaining to a student’s disability is helpful in establishing the existence of a disability, understanding its impact, and making informed decisions about reasonable accommodations. This includes: 

  1. The student’s self-report to the Office of Student Disability Services during the initial intake interview and subsequent discussions;
  2. Relevant information gathered by the Office of Student Disability Services from observation, interaction with the student, and observation of others;
  3. External documentation from the professional(s) diagnosing the disability. This external documentation can verify the presence of a disability if not readily apparent and might include:
  • A clearly stated diagnosis of the disability or disabilities
  • A description of functional limitations resulting from the disability or disabilities
  • Educational, developmental and medical case history (this may include evidence of prior accommodation such as IEP, 504 plan, record of accommodations for standardized testing/SAT’s, etc.)
  • Method of evaluation, including testing instruments
  • Description of the specific accommodations recommended with rationale as to how the request is related to the impact of the disability

While there are no restrictions on the age limit of acceptable documentation, it is important that the description reflect how the condition impacts the student at the current time and under the current circumstances.

Marywood University will make every effort to grant equal access to qualifying students through the implementation of reasonable accommodations. Accommodations will be determined through a deliberate and collaborative process involving input from the student, professors, and the professional judgment of the Office of Student Disability Services. All decisions will be determined on an individual, case by case basis.

Students are encouraged to submit documentation in person to the Office of Student Disability Services in the Learning Commons Room 166. Students can also submit documentation by mail, fax, or email as follows:

Marywood University
Office of Student Disability Services
2300 Adams Avenue
Scranton PA 18509
Fax: 570.340.6073
disabilityservices@marywood.edu

If you need extra help registering for courses because of your disability, or if you require specific accommodations in the classroom, we can assist in the following ways:

  • Ensuring your classroom is accessible.

  • Providing special equipment and devices in your classroom.

  • Helping you schedule classes so that you have enough time to travel from one class to the next

Registration and Scheduling Policies

Marywood University intends to comply fully with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 P.L. 93-112, as amended by P.L. 93-516. This act mandates equal opportunity for qualified persons with disabilities in education programs and activities of all recipients of federal financial assistance. Further, under HEW regulations colleges and universities must make certain that educational programs and activities are available to persons with disabilities "in the most integrated setting appropriate." This means that students with disabilities should not be unduly segregated, separated or treated differently. The University also intends to comply fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 which makes it illegal to discriminate against anyone who has a mental or physical disability in the areas of employment, public services, transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunications. This act extends, amends and clarifies many of the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Toward achieving this goal the Office of the Registrar has established the following policies and procedures.

Registration

  1. Students with disabilities will follow to the extent possible the published registration policies and procedures of Marywood University. In accordance with the "most integrated setting appropriate" principle, adjustment to these procedures for students with disabilities will be made in whatever way allows the student to register with the most similarity to his/her peers.
  2. Provision for students with disabilities needing any kind of special assistance or auxiliary aids in the registration process will be made on an individual basis.
  3. It is the responsibility of the course instructor to indicate as early as possible after registration if any special arrangements will be necessary with respect to course procedures/requirements (e.g. a student with auditory impairment may need to request an adjustment in course requirements if the requirements are based primarily on taped materials). In all cases, the faculty member should be allowed sufficient time to make whatever adjustments are necessary.

Scheduling

  1. Classes will be rescheduled to permit access for students with mobility impairments if they are scheduled for inaccessible classrooms.
  2. Classes will be rescheduled for students with disabilities using special equipment/devices when this equipment cannot be properly utilized in the classroom in which a course was originally scheduled.
  3. No automatic or arbitrary scheduling or rescheduling process will make changes or special arrangements for any student with a disability who does not desire or require such treatment.

All requests by persons with disabilities for adjustments in Registration Policy/Procedures or for rescheduling of classes to accessible classrooms should be made through:

The Office of Student Disability Services
Marywood University
Learning Commons 166
(570) 348-6211 ext 2335

The Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) will then submit to the Registrar a written request for necessary changes. The judgment of the DSC will be respected with regard to whatever adjustments are appropriate for a particular student with disabilities.

Confidentiality of Student Records

Marywood University intends to comply fully with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. This act was designated to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. A policy statement explains in detail the procedures to be used by Marywood University for compliance with the provisions of the act. Copies of the policy statement can be found in the Office of the Registrar and the Offices of the Academic Deans.

Contact

Office of the Registrar
Liberal Arts Center - Room 92A
(570) 340-6054

Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Shields Center for Visual Arts 232
(570) 348-6233

Dean, College of Health and Human Services
O'Neill Center for Healthy Families 106
(570) 348-6001

Dean, College of Professional Studies
Center for Architectural Studies 1037
(570) 348-6211 x 6063

Academic accommodations are designed to meet your disability-related needs without fundamentally altering the nature of the instructional program. A variety of academic accommodations can be made, depending on your particular needs. They may include:

  • Extended time on timed tests
  • Distraction-free environment for taking tests
  • Ability to tape record lectures or note taking support
  • Accessible classrooms
  • Exams read aloud with text-to-speech technology.
  • Assistance developing a time line when completing long-range assignments.
  • Relocating classes to accessible locations.
  • Sign language interpreters.
  • Access to text in alternative formats for students with a documented print-disability. (This includes not only blindness and vision impairments, but also learning disabilities and other disabilities that affect reading.)

To Request Academic Accommodations

  1. Submit your disability documentation to the Office of Student Disability Services.
  2. Your documentation will be reviewed by the Office of Student Disability Services and, if necessary, the Housing and Residence Life Office.
  3. If academic accommodations are required, Student Disability Services will partner with you to develop an accommodation plan and notify your faculty instructors.
  4. Once you have had your accommodation meeting for the current semester, you can use the Accommodation Portal to schedule tests and request accommodations for each specific course

Reasonable housing accommodations will be made for on-campus residents. These may include:

  • Single room
  • Wheelchair (ADA) accessible rooms
  • Private bathrooms
  • Close proximity to elevators and exits

For specific housing needs, please read our housing FAQ or contact Disability Services at disabilityservices@marywood.edu.

Your documentation will be reviewed by the Office of Student Disability Services and, if necessary, the Housing and Residence Life Office.

Request Housing Accommodations

  1. Submit your disability documentation to the Office of Student Disability Services.
  2. Your documentation will be reviewed by the Office of Student Disability Services and, if necessary, the Housing and Residence Life Office.
  3. If housing accommodations are required, Student Disability Services will partner with you to develop an accommodation plan and notify your faculty instructors.

Housing FAQs

What are the deadlines for submitting housing accommodations?
In order to identify the best fit for your individual needs, you are encouraged to submit documentation as soon as possible. We will review documentation as soon as it is received.
If I already submitted documentation to the Office of Disability Services, can that be used for housing accommodations, too?
If applicable, this documentation can be considered for housing accommodations as well. The documentation must specifically address housing accommodations.
How often must I submit documentation for housing accommodations?
Students with chronic disabilities should submit documentation only once, unless their needs change. Students with a temporary condition, such as a broken leg, must submit additional documentation to determine whether or not to continue accommodations.
Why is my medical condition considered a disability?
The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 broadened the definition of a person who has a disability to include a variety of conditions that substantially impair one or more major life activities. Students who seek housing accommodations can be understood to have conditions which meet these definitions.
Are single occupancy rooms available?
We do have a limited number of single rooms that may be available to you based on your disability. Living in a community environment involves interactions with fellow students. Some distractions are unavoidable. Therefore, single room accommodations based on a need to be free of distractions aren't usually granted.
If I receive housing accommodations, can I select my own room and roommate?
If you prefer a particular location, we will take it into consideration. However, since we must support all student requests, specific room requests are not guaranteed. Similarly, we cannot guarantee a specific roommate.
How do I make adjustments to my housing accommodations?
To request a change to your housing accommodations, contact the Office of Disability Services to discuss possible alternatives. You may need to provide additional documentation to support modifications.

7 Prep and Day of Steps for Successful Testing

  1. The student should schedule exams at least seven days in advance to allow time for the Office of Student Disability Services and the students’ professors to approve the request and ensure an available testing location. This process requires an active accommodation plan for the specific course. Within this time frame, the student should email disabilityservices@marywood.edu and include the professor of the course in order to utilize accommodations for the exam.
  2. Once accommodation requests have been submitted, the student should ensure that they have received a completed accommodation plan via Marywood email as a PDF with all signatures included (the student, the professors and Kaitlin Anderle). Note: if the student has not received a completed accommodation plan, they should contact Kaitlin Anderle, Director of Student Disability Services, (kaanderle@marywood.ed) immediately.
  3. LOG IN with the username and password provided by Marywood. If the accommodation plan is complete, the screen will show “Schedule Test” or “Schedule Exam” instead of “Request Accommodations”.
  4. The student should select the exam scheduling option by clicking “Schedule Test” for that specific course.
  5. The student will input the following information: requested day to take the exam, requested time to take the exam, and specify if a computer is required to take the exam. The student should also specify the reason for the computer in the drop down box.
  6. The student will submit the request and will subsequently receive an email confirmation that the request has been submitted.
  7. The student will receive a final confirmation email that the test has been approved by Student Disability Services and the professor.

    NOTE: For online classes or online exams, students should communicate with the professor individually to come up with a plan. The student should contact the professor in advance to ensure that appropriate changes can be made in Moodle to ensure that accommodation needs are met. 

On the Day of the Exam:

  1. The student will report to their testing location, typically in the designated testing area in the Learning Commons (LC 162-163).
  2. The student will check in with the work study student at the desk located next to the testing area, also located next to Kaitlin Anderle’s office (LC 166).
  3. The student must put all personal items in the lockers adjacent to the testing center, INCLUDING their cell phones. Cell phones are to be put on silence to minimize distraction to others working in the library.
  4. The only items the student is allowed to have on the day of the exam are writing utensils, a drink, a snack, and additionally permitted items depending on the test (calculator, formula sheet, etc.) The student should confirm with either Sr. Jane or the work study student that these items are permitted.
  5. If the student has a question during the exam, they should ask Sr. Jane (LC 168). Note: if the student is a PA student, they must show their completed exam on their laptop to either the work study student or Sr. Jane. 
  6. Once the student has completed the test, they should give the exam to the work study student who will put the exam and exam materials in the designated envelope. The envelope will be sealed, stamped with the designated Office of Student Disability Services stamp, and signed by the work study student on the enclosure. 
  7. Once the envelope is sealed, it is the students’ responsibility to return the exam to their professor. Note: if the professor is not available, the exam can either be given to the department administrative assistant or Kaitlin Anderle, director of the Office of Student Disability Services. 

Faculty

  • Refer students to Disability Services to request accommodations.
  • Participate in the process of determining and implementing reasonable accommodations.
  • Identify essential course components for accommodations to be determined.
  • Respond to students and Disability Services in a timely manner by reviewing written accommodations within 7 days of receipt and signing to acknowledge the terms of the accommodation plan.
  • Contact Disability Services with questions or concerns about a written accommodation plan within 24 hours of receipt so that an appropriate solution can be developed in a timely manner.
  • Request assistance from Disability Services with accommodation, implementation, or consultation.

Faculty Disability Resources

If a student with a disability seeks academic accommodations from you directly, refer the student to the Office of Student Disability Services for assistance.

If a student presents a written request for accommodations from the Office of Student Disability Services, you must review and sign the plan within 7 days of receipt to acknowledge that you have read and understood the provisions. If you have questions or concerns about the approved accommodations, contact Disability Services at ext 2355 immediately so that a reasonable solution can be reached in a timely manner.

It's important that students who require accommodations for documented disabilities know they can seek assistance from the Office of Disability Services. During the first week of the semester, please inform your students that special accommodations will be addressed by the Director of Disability Services.

In addition, consider including the following statement in your syllabus:

Marywood University complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. Students with disabilities who need special accommodations must submit documentation of the disability to the Office of Student Disability Services, Learning Commons166, in order for reasonable accommodations to be granted. The Office of Disability Services will partner with students to determine the appropriate accommodations and, in cooperation with the instructor, will work to ensure that all students have a fair opportunity to perform in this class. Students are encouraged to notify instructors and the Office of Student Disability Services as soon as they determine accommodations are necessary; however, documentation will be reviewed at any point in the semester upon receipt. Specific details of the disability will remain confidential between the student and the Office of Student Disability services unless the student chooses to disclose or there is a legitimate academic need for disclosure on a case-by-case basis. For assistance, please contact the Director of Student Disability Services, at 570-348-6211 x2335 or disabilityservices@marywood.edu.

Download this statement in Word format.

Our Role in Accommodating Students with Disabilities

Presentation from the Marywood Faculty/Staff retreat, August 2009.

CAST

The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) is an educational research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning.

DO-IT Center

The Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) Center promotes the success of individuals with disabilities and the use of computer and networking technologies to increase their independence, productivity, and participation in education and careers.

LD OnLine

LD Online is the world's leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD.